The 2015 ORIGINAL GROWLER
Registration opens December 1, 2014.
- Saturday May 23, 2015, The Half-Growler 32-miles (limited to 350 riders)
- Sunday May 24, 2015, The Full-Growler 64-miles (limited to 350 riders)
- Brought to you by Gunnison Trails and presented by Ergon and SRAM. The Original Growler is owned and operated by Gunnison Trails and is the primary fundraiser for this Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Gunnison Trails is dedicated to maintaining and expanding the single track experience in the Gunnison area including working toward building the Gunnison to Crested Butte trail. 100% of the proceeds from the Original Growler benefit Gunnison Trails.
- The Original Growler is for experienced mountain bikers only. Riders must possess the skills and judgment necessary to assess difficult and challenging trails and roads and negotiate them in a safe manner. NO BEGINNERS, PLEASE! For comparison, the general character and difficulty of the trails and roads in the Original Growler is similar to those of the BLM Mack Ridge Trail System near Fruita, CO: Mary’s Loop, Lion’s Loop, Horsethief Loop, Steve’s Loop, etc.
As in prior years, we will not be offering refunds. The Growler is all about raising money for trails so before registering, please be certain that you are comfortable making your entry fee a donation to the trails of the Gunnison Valley in the event that you:
- Forgot to train
- Your aunt Edna decides to get remarried that weekend
- You eat #$%& on your bike and get hurt
- Cannot ride in the Growler that weekend for any other reason
**As Gunnison Trails is a 501c3, your entry fee will be 100% tax deductible in the event you cannot make it. Thanks for supporting trails!** Gunnison Trails does allow transfers for a $25 fee. Click HERE for transfer details.
2014 Photos & Results are here!
- 2013 Photos / Full Growler Photos
- 2013 Photos / Half Growler Photos
To search. you need to enter bib number and either 2013FullGrowler or 2013HalfGrowler.
- 2012 Photos / The Half Growler: http://mattburt.zenfolio.com/p89466095
- 2012 Photos / The Full Growler: http://mattburt.zenfolio.com/p102903446
- 2011 Original Growler Photos by Matt Burt
Registration opens December 1, 2015
Each day of racing is capped at 350 riders.
The 2015 entry fee is $95 for the Half-Growler and $105 for the Full-Growler and for the Late Bus 32. Also expect to pay a small fee to the good people at bikereg.com.
Racer Check-In is Friday May 22nd from 3pm to 9pm at Treads ‘n’ Threads, 113 N Main Street. Check-in is for Half and Full Growler riders. All riders must be present to sign a waiver. Sorry, no race day check-in.
Saturday May 23rd from 1pm to 9pm also at Treads ‘n’ Threads for all Full-Growler riders. All riders must be present to sign a waiver. Sorry, no race day check-in.
The Original Growler is a BYOB Race: Bring Your Own Bag. We try to eliminate waste and clutter by not providing you with any spiffy disposable or reusable bags that nobody needs. Please bring your own, preferably filled with non-perishable food items for the Original Grower Food Drive. Last year we killed it with this and our local food bank was forever grateful for your generosity. NOTE: The food drive idea was blatantly lifted from our friends at Epic Rides in Arizona.
Saturday May 23, 2015 The Half-Growler. *THE HALF-GROWLER WILL START AT 9AM* A 32-mile, epic single-lap race. Field limit is 350 riders. Entry fee is $95 and includes a ton of singletrack, well-stocked aid stations, a t-shirt, post-race party in downtown Gunnison including a meal and beverages and finisher’s awards. HINT: Lots of locals prefer the Half-Growler because they know just how hard the Full-Growler is. Our most popular distance, the Half Growler usually sells out quickly. Don’t procrastinate on this one.
Sunday May 24, 2015 The Full-Growler. 64-miles; two laps; and also the Late Bus 32. 32-miles; one lap. *THE FULL-GROWLER and the Late Bus 32 WILL START AT 7AM* Total field limit is is 350 riders. Entry fee is $105 and includes double a ton of singletrack, well-stocked aid stations, a t-shirt, post-race party including a meal and beverages and a finisher’s award. The Late Bus 32: A one lap race within the Full-Growler on Sunday May 25th. We will track and post results, including time, for the Late Bus 32. The Late Bus 32 might be right for you if you want to race the same day as your friend or significant other who is tackling the Full-Growler but you know that you’re more of a Half-Growler kind of rider; or, the Half Growler sold out before you got around to registering and you still want to experience the amazing trail riding of The Original Growler. Late Bus 32 finishers still get Half-Growler finisher’s schwag, party, meal, etc. There will be no individual or age group achievement awards (other than finisher’s awards) or rankings for the Late Bus 32, however.
The Original Growler is for experienced mountain bikers only. Riders must possess the skills and judgment necessary to assess difficult and challenging trails and roads and negotiate them in a safe manner. NO BEGINNERS, PLEASE! For comparison, the general character and difficulty of the trails and roads in the Original Growler is similar to those of the BLM Mack Ridge Trail System near Fruita, CO: Mary’s Loop, Lion’s Loop, Horsethief Loop, Steve’s Loop, etc.
Each day of racing at the 2015 Original Growler is capped at 350 riders. We could easily start 500 or more but there’s a ton of singletrack out there, much of it either fast or technical. Too many riders on course at once is not conducive to quality racing and riding.
Both days of racing will in downtown Gunnison by shotgun blasts. As per tradition, we will be flip-flopping the direction of travel on the course. Every trail is a completely different experience when ridden the other way! In year 2015 we’re going clockwise.
The HALF-GROWLER – Saturday May 23, 2015; 9AM START The Half-Growler is a one-lap race of around 32-miles of trailriding bliss. The winning time is expected to be just under 3 hours. Take a look at last year’s Half Growler results to see what went down and by whom. While it’s called a race, this is an exceptional course to ride for fun at any pace.
The FULL-GROWLER – Sunday May 24, 2015; 7AM START The Full-Growler is two laps and 64-miles of singletrack heavy fun. Bryan Dillon was last years winner in 5:11:38. Click here for those results. Heard on the street: “But the Full-Growler is only 64 miles. I’ve done a bunch of hundies, how hard can it be?” Give it a try and find out, just bring your A-game. Once again, it’s called a race but plenty of riders take their time (maybe even take some pictures) and smell the sage and enjoy the challenging and ever-changing nature of the trails at Hartman Rocks.
The finish on the pavement is untimed but mandatory (see below for further details). Racing begins for real when you hit the dirt at the entrance to the Hartman Rocks base area. The course is about a 30-mile loop on your BLM public lands that brings riders back to the Hartman Rocks base area, where the timed finish/lap line is located.
Again, we’re working on a timed finish all the way back to downtown. If we cannot pull this off, what you read below is how it will go down.
The timed portion of the Growler is complete when you cross the timed finish/lap line on the dirt at the Hartman Rocks base area. Half-Growler (32-miles) racers finish after one lap; Full-Growler (64-miles) racers finish after two laps. Even though you have crossed this line and your time has been etched in stone, you are not finished! By rule, to complete the Original Growler, you must ride back to IOOF Park in downtown Gunnison and cross the symbolic finish line there. This is also where you’ll find real food, real drink, music, results and a pleasing, post-race atmosphere.
You have until about 5-6pm to cross this finish line in the park, so don’t rush. Once you cross the timed finish line at the Hartman Rocks base area, grab some food and drink, chill a bit in the hot sun and then ride back to the park at a careful, leisurely pace. If someone is too blown to ride back, we’ll help as needed. Most will be able to sufficiently recover to ride these final couple of flat miles back to town for some exotic fare and frosty beverages at the ongoing Growler Grub Soiree. If you know the area, ride back to the park any way you like. If you’re not familiar with the Gunnison area, a well-marked route will get you back to IOOF Park. You will encounter traffic, intersections, stop signs and two stoplights on the way back to the park. Please obey all traffic laws.
Remember, this is an un-timed section of the race. Also, be careful as you enter the park for the crossing of the symbolic finish line as some sidewalk riding is possible and the area is sure to be busy with people, including non-cyclists and kids. We know un-timed sections are unusual, but there are issues and concerns about parking and crowding at the Hartman Rocks base area, so this is the solution. Plus, it’s never a bad thing to stay out of our cars if we can, not to mention, it’s a great warm-up and cool-down.
IF YOU DNF IN ANY RACE, PLEASE DO NOT RIDE THROUGH THE FINISH. ALSO, PLEASE ALERT A COURSE VOLUNTEER OR RACE ORGANIZATION MEMBER MAKING SURE THEY GET YOUR BIB NUMBER. THANKS!
Both the Half and Full-Growler will start and finish in downtown Gunnison at IOOF Park (AKA, race HQ) on the NE corner of Main and Virginia. That makes for about 5 miles of dead flat pavement, 2.5 at the beginning and 2.5 at the end. Total distances are about 32 miles for the Half-Growler and 64 miles for the Full-Growler. The start on the pavement is neutral behind law enforcement and may be slow or fast. SEE ABOVE FOR A DESCRIPTION OF HOW THE GROWLER WILL FINISH.
Please, no parking on Main St. or in the first block off of Main St. These are two-hour parking spots and you could be ticketed. There’s plenty of street parking adjacent to the finish that’s just one block or more off of Main St. A great parking lot is two blocks west of the start across the street from the Post Office.
The well-marked, clockwise course of around 30 miles contains loads of classic and challenging Gunnison singletrack – trails like Skull Pass, Top of the World, Rattlesnake, Ridge Trail and Joshos. You won’t be bored! The lap climbs around 4,000 vertical feet (but never more than a few hundred in one shot.) The Half-Growler and lap 1 of the Full-Growler use a slightly different starting configuration to spread the field out. Please study the map for details.
PLEASE NOTE: Parts of the Original Growler course are closed until May 15th to protect the threatened Gunnison Sage-grouse. If you preride the course prior to May 15th, please honor and respect this seasonal closure for wildlife. Many thanks!
The Original Growler course contains difficult, technically demanding, and of course, potentially dangerous, singletrack trails, double-tracks and roads. Road and trail hazards are not marked. Riders must possess the judgment and experience necessary to evaluate the roads and trails of the Original Growler and determine the safest manner in which to negotiate them.
BLM Public Lands
All roads and trails used in the Original Growler are also open to the public and participants don’t have special preference out on the trail. Participants need to be prepared to encounter, yield to and be courteous to humans on foot, on horseback, on mountain bikes (not racing), on motorcycles, on ATV’s, in full-size vehicles, hovercraft, etc. Cattle may also be encountered while racing in the Original Growler. This is standard policy for events taking place on BLM public lands.
The Original Growler course is an isolated, backcountry route that includes numerous sections located in steep and rugged terrain where participants may be hours from medical attention and/or evacuation in the event of a serious mishap. Western State Colorado University Mountain Rescue Team provides emergency services for the Original Growler. The long-distance nature of these races, both the Half and Full-Growler, emphasizes the importance of adequate preparation, physical fitness and sound decision-making on the part of each participant
You will most likely get wet. The Original Growler is an all weather race. It poured rain before and during the race in 2009 and last year it rained most of the night prior to the Full Growler. That first lap had it’s moments but the second was sublime. Hartman Rocks rides well when it’s wet, all things considered. Most of the soils are non-clay, decomposed granite. The race organization and/or the BLM may cancel the race do to weather but all riders need to be dressed appropriately and prepared for the conditions on race day.
There will be well-stocked aid-stations generally at miles 15 and 17 (Skull Pass), 30 (Hartman Rocks base area), 43 and 45 (Skull Pass). Feed zones will be well stocked. We will have Acli-Mate and Honey Stinger product, as well as water and other food available. No bottles will be handed out so you’ll need to fill your bottles and bladders.
Two other intermediate locations on the course will have Acli-Mate and water, just enough to keep you going.
You can also take feeds anywhere on the course from anyone at anytime and you never know where locals may decide to put an impromptu aid station/margarita party! As in years past, bacon and ice cold Coco-Cola may be available on course.
There will be basic technical support at the aid-stations including at the Hartman Rocks base area. This will include lube, a few tubes and tires, some tools and floor pump. There most likely will not be a full-service bike shop on course.
Full Growler riders will be able to leave a small cooler or duffel bag at a designated spot near the starting line in downtown Gunnison. We will transport your bag to the lap line (Hartman Rocks base area.) These can be filled with whatever you think you might want to have at the half-way point of the race: food, drink, clothing, tubes, tools, etc.) Once you have gone through it and are back on course, we’ll transport it back to town for you. Important: Full-Growler riders: the lap line at the Hartman Rocks base area is always a confusing place. Check it out beforehand if possible. As you finish your first lap, be as aware as you can and pay attention to signage and/or course marshals trying to direct you to: the drop-bag location; the crew-feeding area; the neutral aid-station; or through the timing line to head out for your second lap
NOON is the strictly enforced cutoff time to head out on the second lap for Full Growler riders.
Ideally, we’ll be racing back to downtown in 2015. This is, however, contingent on getting permission for the route. We finished the Half Growler in town in 2014 and it made for a more cohesive finale and more festive atmoshphere. There’s nothing like cheering on your buddies as they cross the finish line and join you at the post race party. Finishing back in town will add about three miles to the end of your ride. In the event we don’t finish in town, as in years past, your time will be set in stone at the base area of Hartman Rocks but, by rule, you’ll still need to ride back and cross the symbolic finish line in downtown Gunnison.
Once you’re done and back in downtown at the finish line, you’ll be smack-dab in the middle of the Growler after party. We have food and beverages (please drink responsibly) for you and eventually, we’ll do awards. We suggest that you put your bike away securely (you might want to bring a lock for peace of mind or get it back to where you are staying or on or in your car), clean up as you like and kick back and enjoy the post-race glow and feeling of dead legs.
- Half-Growler Party on Saturday begins around 1pm with Awards around 3pm.
- Full-Growler Party on Sunday begins around 1pm with Awards around 5pm.
THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS. Once you are registered, you have contributed your entry fee to Gunnison Trails. Whether you race or not, your money is put to work on the trails and 100% of revenue from the Growler goes Gunnison Trails and Gunnison Trails does nothing but trail advocacy. We do allow transfers for a $25 fee. Entry holders are responsible for finding another rider to transfer their entry to and settling up on the money. The person gaining the entry will register online and pay the $25 transfer fee only.
Categories are Men and Ladies: Under 20; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60+; Open Singlespeed
Gunnison Trails holds some starting positions for sponsors, partners and race organization discretion.
OTHER HAPPENINGS AT HARTMAN’S ROCKS THE WEEKEND BEFORE:
- The Sage Burner Trail Running Race usually takes place the weekend prior to the Growler. Check out their website for details.